Lunar Epic Review

Lunar Epic Review

The past couple of months have been abuzz with Nike’s latest running shoe: the Lunar Epic.

For the first time ever, I am going to write a review on a running shoe.

Having said that, let me say that it is not due to a lack of opportunities to write reviews on running shoes.

I’ve been running since 2009.

In all my running, I have only used on brand. Yep, you guessed right – Nike.

In the past 9 months, I have had the opportunity of working very closely with Nike, on a local and global scale. I have been to their conferences abroad. I have been to numerous presentations by their product specialists when new shoes are released.

And of course, I get a pair of new shoes as regularly as I run marathons!

So, I have more than enough opportunities to write reviews. But, I choose not to.

But, with the Lunar Epic, there’s absolutely no ways I am going to let the opportunity pass.

So what is the big deal?

Hopefully, over the next few paragraphs I’ll shed some light.

Test Runs

I got a hold of a pair of the Lunar Epic on Thursday, 3rd March, a day before they launched in SA stores.

On the very same day, I took it for a 6 km run at our Nike+ Run Club (NRC) Local Run:

Lunar Epic

That’s me on the extreme right with some of our NRC members. We were at the highest point in Johannesburg on that night.

Over the following 8 days, I went on to run 125 kms over 5 runs:

  • 5th March: Sunrise Monster – 32kms @ 5.26 mins/km
  • 7th March: 20km training run @ 5.42 mins/km
  • 8th March: 11.67km training run @ 5.42 mins/km
  • 8th March: Nike+ Run Club Home Run – 11.53 kms @ 6 mins/km
  • 12th March: Om Die Dam – 50kms @ 5.39 mins/km

The runs have been a combination of easy-paced short runs, easy-paced medium distance runs and a good-paced long run.

I have yet to take them on the track or speed runs on the road.

Having said that, I think the runs I’ve done are enough to give an informed review.

Key Features

Undoubtedly, the most significant feature (and probably the reason for the craze) of the Lunar Epic is Magista soccer boots inspired sock-like ankle collar:

Lunar Epic

The upper is made of Flyknit fabric, which in itself is not entirely new – considering shoes such the Flyknit racer have the same material. The lacing is made of Flywire and this extends to heel of the shoe.

The lower boasts a new dual-injection mid-sole that uses heat instead of glue to fuse together two different foams.

The outsole is a rubber-free and has laser-siped geometric pistons (cuts in the sole) inspired by pressure maps of the foot. The elementary support is that of the Lunarlon that has soft foam core directly beneath the foot. This is then surrounded by a firmer, more resilient layer of foam.

Lunar Epic

Sounds rather technical right? Especially if you are a layman looking for a pair of shoes that simply does an outstanding job.

I hope in the next section I can make that link for you.

Benefits

This is the crux for many runners.

“How will all this technology benefit me?”, is a question many a runner will ask.

So, let’s have a look at the benefits of these features.

Ankle Collar Support

Once again, the obvious excellence about the shoe is the snug fit that the sock-like ankle collar support provides. Add to that, the laces that extend to the heel, and you’ve got an absolute winner.

Try running in shoes without tying your laces. It is guaranteed to be a horrible experience.

However, when you fit on the Lunar Epic, before you even tie your laces, the sock-like fit gives you an incredible feeling of support.

When you head out for your run, there is absolute comfort in your running.

That means no irritation, lateral movement or chaffing.

Flyknit Upper

Although this is not entirely new technology by Nike, it would be criminal to complete the review and not make mention of it.

For most long distance runners, weight means everything.

There comes a time during a marathon where everything becomes a tad bit too heavy. The top can become a tad bit heavy (hence some opt to take it off at times!). The supplements bag can become a tad bit heavy. And of course the shoes.

Whilst one can argue that you can take off your top, there’s very little chance of taking your pants and shoes off.

As such, any opportunity to run lighter is appreciated by most runners.

Duel-injection mide-sole & Rubber-free, laser-siped sole  

Phil McCartney, who is the Global Running Product Director at Nike says the following: “Most running shoes which use more than one foam will bond them together using glue or some sort of adhesive. We haven’t done that. To save on weight and improve the performance we bonded them together using just heat.”

There you have it. Less weight, as I’ve already alluded, is a benefit for most runners.

The rubber-free, laser-siped sole feels awesome. Although incredibly light, it gives a bouncy and responsive feel.

Quite cool if you ask me!

Despite the responsiveness, you still get the cushion feel that reassures you of support.

On both the 32km and 50km runs, at no point did I feel like there was a lack of support. At no point did the shoes feel sluggish.

From start to finish, in both races, I really felt good. And yeah, the occasional runner saying “awesome shoes mate” simply re-iterated what I was feeling.

Prontation Support

This has to have been a key consideration from a Nike perspective.

Traditionally, running shoes have always been designed to support a particular type of pronation – i.e pronator (inward roll), supinator (outward roll) or neutral.

The technology of the sole has Lunarlon and that provides support for pronation as I’ve already mentioned. Add to that, you have technology that maps your foot and follows your foot strike. You then combine that with negated lateral movement from the “sock-like” design, and this strongly suggests that Nike has made a significant shift.

I pronate when I run. And I felt completely comfortable in all my runs.

I am yet to compare notes with neutral runners or runners who supinate and have used the Lunar Epic.

But, I’m confident Nike, through the Lunar Epic, has made the significant shift from designing shoes that are prontation specific to designing a shoe that accommodates all types of runners – regardless of their pronation.

Price

The Lunar Epic retails for R2 300 in South Africa.

At first glance, it might shock you!

But, let’s apply some perspective. A good pair of running shoes (whatever your brand choice), retails at an average of R1800.

For an additional R500, you are getting an awesome pair of running shoes.

Add to the epicness of the shoes, these are also very trendy. They look stunning and are very easy on the eye. They almost look like lifestyle shoes.

In fact, you could easily wear them as such. I’m afraid, I can’t say that for a lot of running shoes.

So I think the price is worth it.

Conclusion

The Lunar Epic is an epic shoe indeed.

As an avid runner, I was incredibly impressed with how the shoe felt on all my runs. The sock-like design might not seem like a big deal. But, once you get into of a pair of Lunar Epics, you realize how big a deal that snug fit really is.

Personally, the biggest wow factor was how the shoe felt on my 50km Ultra Marathon. As you can see below, I ran a nett time of 4hrs 40 mins. From my splits below, I had a really good run:

Splits

Epic!

I’m yet to try them out on a track. Having said that, I doubt Nike had track workouts in mind when they designed the shoe.

Considering all factors, I’d recommend the Lunar Epic to any runner on any given day.

I hope this review will help anyone considering the Lunar Epic to make a more informed decision.

God Bless!

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)


  1. Sylesh
    1 year ago

    Hi!

    Do you wear socks when you run? (I can’t wear shoes without them!)

    Also, if I had to pick between the APL Windchill and the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit, which should I pick?
    You clearly know what you’re talking about, but if you’e only ever used Nike, do you know enough about the APL Windchill as a runner to give me an informed response?

    I greatly look forward to your answer.

    Thank you very much for your review; it was most helpful!


    • Peteni
      12 months ago

      Hi Sylesh

      Yes I do wear socks. Interestingly, I went for a run in the Lunar this morning without wearing socks. But, I seldom do that. With other shoes, I never do that.

      I know nothing about APL. So, I can’t really give advice or comment.

      Regards
      Peteni